CONTACT:
Kent Gustafson: (603) 271-2461
Jane Vachon: (603) 271-3211
November 8, 2004

Firearms Season for Deer Starts November 10 in New Hampshire

CONCORD, N.H. -- November 10 is opening day for New Hampshire's rifle deer hunting season, which continues through December 5.

"This is the time of year most hunters wait for - the traditional time to get together with family and friends and hit the woods together," said Kent Gustafson, Deer Project Leader for the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department. The season looks promising this year, he adds, saying, "Last winter's milder winter weather set the stage for a good deer season in 2004 -- the state's herd is in good shape."

In 2003, New Hampshire hunters took 9,492 deer during the firearms, archery and muzzleloader seasons. The muzzleloader season ends Nov. 9; the archery deer season extends through December 15. The firearms season is the most popular hunting season in the state, bringing many of the state's approximately 67,000 deer hunters into the field during the 26-day season. "That's a lot of people, so don't forget to wear your blaze orange when you're out hunting," Gustafson says.

New Hampshire's deer population is estimated this year at about 85,000 animals, with the greatest numbers tending to be found in the more southern parts of the state. About 10,000 to 11,000 deer are expected to be taken by Granite State hunters this fall; about 10 percent of these will be checked by biologists stationed at many of the official deer registration stations in the state, providing Fish and Game with information on the health of the population.

Hunters should check the 2004-05 New Hampshire Hunting Digest for Wildlife Management Unit and season-specific either-sex day regulations and additional details. The Hunting Digest is available from the Fish and Game website (click here to download a PDF copy) or pick up a copy from a license agent. Fish and Game's website has lots of other helpful information for deer hunters, including a new list of larger Wildlife Management Areas, rules for hunting on public lands, a monthly Hunting Report and contacts to help you find professional hunting guides and butchers.

Haven't got your license yet? If you've purchased a hunting license in the past three years, you can buy a license online at the Fish and Game website -- click here. Licenses may also be purchased at Fish and Game headquarters, or from license agents statewide. The basic New Hampshire hunting license costs $22 for residents or $103 for nonresidents. Hunters under age 16 years don't need a license, but may only hunt when accompanied by a properly licensed adult who is at least 18 years old. First-time hunters applying for a license must have successfully completed a hunter education course from Fish and Game; if you haven't done so by now, note that the courses are over for this year. Visit the Fish and Game website in the coming months to find a class to take next spring or summer, so you don't let another season get away!

The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department is the guardian of the state's fish, wildlife and marine resources and their habitats. Click here for more information about New Hampshire's deer hunt.

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